E.B. White on “A Writer’s Time”

A Writer’s Time

There is nothing harder to estimate than a writer’s time, nothing harder to keep track of. There are moments—moments of sustained creation—when a writer’s time is fairly valuable; and there are hours and hours when a writer’s time isn’t worth the paper he or she is not writing anything on.

I love the writings of E.B. White and it is so true what he says about time. I haven’t been working on my book for quite awhile now. I have put everything else before it. I tell myself I have no time to work on it because my B&B inn is “eating my lunch”. Or I tell myself that by the time all the inn work is done, I am too tired to sit down and write. These excuses have been keeping me away from what I love most to do…write. And then I start beating up on myself because I am not writing. I remember a moment when I was sailing my 35-foot hot pink boat alone in the Pacific, wondering why on Earth I was out there in the “Big Blue”. There was just a whisp of wind, my sails were struggling to stay filled, and I was trailing my hand over the side to cool off. I asked The Great Creator, “What do you want me to be doing? I feel like I am being useless….that there must be something more than just adventuring down the Southern Hemisphere, chasing off drugdealers and out-sailing pirates. The seas were still, the air seemed to stop and I heard, “Write to glorify my name.” “What do you mean, ‘glorify’? I asked. But there was no answer. Strange to say, about a year or so later, still waltzing down huge waves, I asked the question again and got the very same answer yet again. Strange….

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Sérenta (in foreground) on anchor in the Sea of Cortez
Sérenta (in foreground) on anchor in the Sea of Cortez